Patenting Humans?

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If you invent something, first thing you should do is get a patent to protect your invention. But in this strange New World, some people are planning for the future by thinking of ways to patent human beings. You may not have known, but the Patent Office (search) now grants patents for animals.

This is done in cases where an animal has been modified to include a few human genes, so it can produce a human protein or antibody.  And the question is, if you can patent an animal, how far is that from granting a patent for a human being? Just the thought was scary enough for some in Congress to slip a provision against human patents inside a big spending bill.

The provision’s sponsor, Florida Congressman Dave Weldon, who is also a medical doctor, insists that the patent ban would not interfere with ongoing stem cell research. U.S. Patent Director James Rogan spelled out the measure as: "refusing to grant any patent containing a claim that encompasses any member of the species Homo Sapiens at any stage of development."

Who would have thought?

And that’s the Asman Observer!